Male Infertility

Male fertility issues play a role in about 50 percent of all couples facing fertility problems. A physical exam will identify most of these. Our fellowship-trained urologist works closely with the UI Center for Advanced Reproductive Care to evaluate the problem and determine the best options for the couple. Many of the causes of male infertility are treatable. 

Your Medical History is an Important Part of the Evaluation and Should Include:

  • Family history
  • Past medical history including childhood and development
  • Past surgeries and previous hernia repair
  • Sexual history
  • Systemic illnesses such as
    • Diabetes mellitus
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Neurologic disease
    • Previous cancer treatment

The Male Infertility Clinic Sees Patients With Conditions or Symptoms That Include:

Tests for Male Infertility

Seminal fluid analysis

The seminal fluid analysis (SFA) includes determination of ejaculate volume, semen color, pH, viscosity, and liquefaction along with sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm speed. In addition to SFA, a morphology, post-ejaculate urine, and seminal fructose test may be done. See explanation below.

Patients should contact the Andrology Laboratory at 319-384-8352 to schedule an appointment.

Appointments are available Monday through Friday. If requested, results will be faxed to the ordering physician the same day. Electronic reports will be submitted to University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics physicians within one business day of testing. Written reports will be mailed to ordering physicians outside UI Hospitals & Clinics within two business days.

Morphology

Sperm morphology (Tygerberg Strict criteria) is performed to assess sperm head shape, sperm tail defects, and to determine the percentage of sperm that appear to have normal morphology. Immature germ cell and polymorphonuclear leukocyte concentrations also are determined during the sperm morphology evaluation.

Patients should contact the Andrology Laboratory at 319-384-8352 to schedule an appointment.

Specimens are accepted Monday through Friday, by appointment only. Written reports will be sent to ordering physicians within seven business days.

Post-ejaculate urine analysis

The post-ejaculate urine sample is evaluated for the presence of sperm. Presence of a significant number of sperm in the urine is an indication of retrograde ejaculation (sperm released into the bladder). Sperm can be recovered from the urine for assisted reproduction procedures.

Specimens are accepted Monday through Friday, by appointment only. Patients should contact the Andrology Laboratory at 319-384-8352 to schedule an appointment. If requested, results will be faxed to the ordering physician the same day. Electronic reports will be submitted to UI Hospitals & Clinics physicians within one business day of testing. Written reports will be mailed to ordering physicians outside UI Hospitals & Clinics within two business days.

Semen fructose

Semen is tested for the presence of fructose. Fructose is contributed by the seminal vesicle and is normally present in semen. Absence of fructose in the semen, a low semen volume, and a low pH are indicative of an obstruction of the seminal vesicle. If these symptoms are present along with azoospermia, the patient may suffer from congenital absence of the vas deferens. The presence of fructose in the initial semen sample is a quick and inexpensive way to screen for obstruction or absence of the seminal vesicle.

Specimens are accepted Monday through Friday, by appointment only. Patients should contact the Andrology Laboratory at 319- 384-8352 to schedule an appointment. If requested, results will be faxed to the ordering physician the same day. Electronic reports will be submitted to UI Hospitals & Clinics physicians within one business day of testing. Written reports will be mailed to ordering physicians outside UI Hospitals & Clinics within two business days.

Sperm viability stain

This test is available on request. It may be ordered to determine the percentage of live sperm in a specimen.

Specimens are accepted Monday through Friday, by appointment only. Patients should contact the Andrology Laboratory at 319-384-8352 to schedule an appointment. If requested, results will be faxed to the ordering physician the same day. Electronic reports will be submitted to UI Hospitals & Clinics physicians within one business day of testing. Written reports will be mailed to ordering physicians outside UI Hospitals & Clinics within two business days.

Post-vasectomy sperm count

Semen samples are examined for the presence of sperm. When no sperm are observed, the specimen is centrifuged, and the pellet is analyzed for the presence of sperm.

Specimens are accepted Monday through Friday, by appointment only. Patients should contact the Andrology Laboratory at 319-384-8352 to schedule an appointment. If requested, results will be faxed to the ordering physician the same day. Electronic reports will be submitted to UI Hospitals & Clinics physicians within one business day of testing. Written reports will be mailed to ordering physicians outside UI Hospitals & Clinics within two business days.

Other Male Reproductive Services Include:

Andrology Laboratory

The University of Iowa Andrology Laboratory provides physicians and their patients with male infertility testing, motile sperm isolation, and semen cryopreservation. Learn more about the Andrology Laboratory.

Care Team

Physician, Urology